Three former Apple Daily editors have been detained by Hong Kong police under security laws.
Two former top staff members of the suppressed pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily were seized by Hong Kong’s national security police on Wednesday, shortly after the paper’s former executive editor-in-chief was arrested.
Former deputy chief editor Chan Pui-man and managing editor Fung Wai-kong, who had already been jailed for “colluding with foreign forces,” were detained again while on police bail, according to local media.
Former executive editor-in-chief Lam Man-chung was detained on Wednesday morning, according to a police source.
Police announced the arrest of a 51-year-old former newspaper editor on charges of “collusion with foreign forces,” a national security violation, as well as the withdrawal of bail for a 51-year-old woman and a 57-year-old male on the same charge.
Lam is the seventh Apple Daily employee to be arrested in less than a month as a result of a broad national security regulation enacted by Beijing last year in response to massive and frequently violent democratic rallies in Hong Kong.
Lam’s girlfriend told Citizen News that the arrest happened early in the morning at Lam’s home. His computers and cellphones were taken by police for further investigation.
“One wouldn’t be unprepared psychologically (for this) nowadays working in journalism,” she told Citizen News.
Chan was one of five executives detained after a raid on the newspaper’s newsroom by hundreds of police officers in mid-June.
After its top leadership was jailed and its assets were blocked under the security law, Apple Daily, an outspoken supporter of democracy, published its final edition late last month.
Lam was the editor in charge of the final edition, which marked the end of the paper’s 26-year history.
Fung, who was also the former lead opinion writer for the Apple Daily’s English website, was detained at the city’s airport as he attempted to flee the city just days after the paper was closed.
Apple Daily’s reporting and editorials, according to authorities, endorsed calls for international penalties against China, a political stance that is now illegal under the new security law.
Jimmy Lai, the tabloid’s owner, is currently incarcerated on charges of collusion, along with two other executives who have been granted bail.
If convicted, they might spend the rest of their lives in prison.
The paper’s chief operations officer, executive chief editor, and a key editorial writer are among those arrested but out on bail.
The abrupt demise of the newspaper served as a strong reminder to all media outlets in the region about the reach of a new national security law in a city that once styled itself as a bastion of press freedom.
Indignation and astonishment were expressed by the Hong Kong Journalists Association. Brief News from Washington Newsday.